UK'S FIRST CRIMINAL LEGAL INSURANCE POLICY LAUNCHED
12 Jul, 2012
In response to the abolition of universal legal aid, Legal Services Protection has launched the UK’s first Criminal Legal Insurance policy. The policy provides cover for the financial shortfall in contributions to criminal defence costs, which if your annual disposable income is in excess of £3,398, you are now liable to make.
If you are considered eligible to make contributions, you are required to pay 90% of your monthly disposable income, for five months, from the time the case reaches the crown court or until it ends – whichever is sooner.
Legal Services Protection is the brainchild of Mark Roochove, a practicing criminal barrister. Since the changes to the provision of legal aid in 2010, he noticed the financial impact it had on his clients who were struggling to meet their contributions.
Mark, Founder and Director of Legal Services Protection, comments: “My day job involves representing hardworking people that have been caught out by unexpected events either at work or through personal circumstances. This includes plumbers, lorry drivers, firemen and other public sector workers who find themselves facing charges such as dangerous driving, which can include distraction by mobile phones or map reading, and fraud – including VAT evasion.
“For example, many people simply don’t realise that motor and household policies only cover you for civil and not criminal liability. This means their car insurance will not cover them in an accident which is deemed criminal, such as driving aggressively, driving when you are unfit or overtaking dangerously.
“It was my involvement in a particular case with a carpenter, in his mid 30s, who found himself facing an allegation of causing death by dangerous driving which really concerned me. As the carpenter in question was over the disposable income limit, he had to pay monthly contributions of £2,200 towards his legal expenses for five months. This put an immense strain on him and his family and I thought that there must be an insurance solution to alleviate this.”
The annual policy costs £29.99 and provides up to £20,000 worth of cover towards your personal liability for legal aid contribution in the event of criminal proceedings.
Criminal Legal Insurance is available online from www.legalservicesprotection.co.uk. You will receive your policy immediately and the insurer operates a 24 hour claims help line.